By Ally DeJong
I play competitive club soccer, so I have seen first hand all the types of refs imaginable. I realize that bad refs are in every sport but those refs can be simply overlooked because of instant replay. Soccer does not have instant replay so a good ref is vital. I feel like this should change.
The “center of attention” ref basically blows his whistle just to cause reactions from the crowd watching the game.
The “make peace not war” ref blows his whistle every time someone falls, or might I say, touches someone on the opposing team.
The “guilty” ref will call a foul on one team, and then will feel like he has to call a foul on the other team. Just let us play the game.
The “choosing sides” ref already has a clear favorite from the beginning (for whatever reason) and will play on that team’s “side” the whole game.
The ref who is always “under the influence” will take the reactions from players and fans and make a bad call based on that. For example, when a player trips because they are not strong enough to battle for the ball, they will fall and scream “REF!” and he will side with them and all of the screaming parents saying, “COME ON!”
The “sexist” ref who will ref one way for a woman’s game and call every little shove or glimpse of aggressiveness. Meanwhile, they will ref a men’s game and let them actually play the game and not make calls every five seconds because “boys will be boys.”
“Touchy-feely” refs are also irritating because when someone is laying on the ground crying, he will settle her down by giving her a penalty of some sort.
The “blind” ref, who, when an actual foul does take place will never acknowledge it. I would actually prefer to play with a “blind” ref because then we can just have a good, competitive game.
Most sports are contact sports; you’re allowed to bump and shove and it’s not your fault if the other person can’t take a hit. I’m not just going to let the girl dribble down the field and score; I’m going to stop her and if she falls in the process then that’s just too bad.
A perfect example of a bad ref on a professional level was in the Women’s World Cup game, USA vs. Brazil. Two incorrect calls by the ref (Jacqui Melksham from Australia) led to two goals for Brazil, and a deliberate handball was left un-called. I personally cannot understand how this could happen in a major, international tournament.
I understand that people make mistakes, but in a sport where you can’t use instant replay, refs need to ref the game accurately. Too frequently games are ruined because of atrocious calls that make the outcome of the game different. I feel like we should never let human eyes dictate the game; it is time that, soccer especially, starts going to instant replay, at least for the professional level.